Speaker, the ANC welcomes the signing of a peace deal by 11 countries from the Great Lakes region and Southern Africa on Sunday, 24 February 2013, at the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa. This deal is aimed at ending decades of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, under the auspices of the United Nations, the African Union, the region of the Great Lakes and the Southern African Development Community, SADC.
This accord calls for, amongst others, countries in the region to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries and structurally to reform institutions in the DRC, as well as to discourage neighbouring countries from supporting or providing assistance to armed groupings in the region.
The ANC views this effort as a step in the right direction as it marks the beginning of the process that will lead to peace, stability and prosperity in the region. This can only work towards improving the lives of people in the region and the development of a better Africa and a better world, one without hunger, disease, conflict and underdevelopment.
The ANC calls on all parties involved to spare no energy in their efforts to ensure that the peace accord is implemented and brings lasting solutions to the situation in the DRC. Thank you.